ONS: 13 February 2016

by TRG Alerts Admin on February 14, 2016

KEY STORYLINES

  • AFRICA: Two people loyal to the ruling party in Burundi were “executed” overnight in the center of the country.
  • AMERICAS: Catholic faithful flocked to the streets of Mexico City to greet Pope Francis after the pontiff held a historic meeting with the head of the Russian Orthodox Church.
  • ASIA: Two soldiers and five suspected militants were killed in a fierce gun battle in Indian-administered Kashmir near the de facto border with Pakistan.
  • EUROPE: Russian troops conducted drills in the Black Sea and on land this week near the border with Ukraine — deploying more than 8,500 troops, 50 warships, and 200 aircraft.
  • MIDDLE EAST: Turkey and Saudi Arabia could launch a ground operation against Islamic State (IS) jihadists in Syria, while Riyadh is also sending war planes to a Turkish base to fight the extremists, according to the Turkish foreign minister.
  • TECHNOLOGY: A Chinese envoy to the United Nations called for more attention to terrorist groups using the internet or social media to engage in terrorist activities.

TOP STORY

  • Europe: The Munich Security Conference begins, where security leaders from around the world meet to discuss security policy.
    • Germany’s foreign minister pressed for progress on a year-old peace plan for eastern Ukraine as he met with senior officials from Russia, Ukraine and France, saying he hopes that Moscow and Kiev realize that they don’t have forever to implement the deal.
    • Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said tensions between Russia and the West have sent the world into a “new Cold War.”
    • More major attacks in Europe are a “certainty”, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls told an audience at the Munich Security Conference.
    • Ukrainian President Poroshenko said Russia is living in a “completely different universe” and is pointing to the risk of an “alternative Europe” led by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
    • Sanctions against Russia will continue until it implements all aspects of the Ukraine peace agreement reached in Minsk last year, US Secretary of State John Kerry said.
    • AFP, AFP-1, AFP-2, AP, AP-1

AFRICA

  • Burundi: Two people loyal to the ruling party were “executed” overnight in the center of the country. (AFP)
  • DR Congo: A conservation group says authorities have dismantled a major ivory smuggling network, arresting three traffickers in a blow to poaching operations that threaten the survival of the African forest elephant. (AP)
  • Libya: The air force chief of staff says a fighter jet was shot down while carrying out airstrikes against Islamic militants, the third jet to be downed in nearly 40 days. (AP)

AMERICAS

  • Brazil: Possible cases of microcephaly in the country have increased by 6 percent in the last 10 days to 5,079. (Xinhua)
  • Brazil: The health ministry announced it will carry out a campaign known as National Day of Mobilization for the Fight against the Aedes Aegypti, the type of mosquitoes that transmits the Zika virus, in the country’s 350 highly vulnerable municipalities. (Xinhua)
  • Mexico: Catholic faithful flocked to the streets of Mexico City to greet Pope Francis after the pontiff held a historic meeting with the head of the Russian Orthodox Church. (AFP)

ASIA

  • Region: Sayed Fazlullah Wahidi, a former governor of Afghanistan’s Herat province, has been kidnapped from a market in an upscale district of Islamabad. (AFP)
  • India: Two soldiers and five suspected militants were killed in a fierce gun battle in Indian-administered Kashmir near the de facto border with Pakistan, an army spokesman said. (AFP)
  • Myanmar: The outgoing president has scrapped a planned trip to the US next week in order to oversee the power hand-off to Aung San Suu Kyi’s new government. (AFP)

EUROPE

  • Region: Russian troops conducted drills in the Black Sea and on land this week near the border with Ukraine — deploying more than 8,500 troops, 50 warships and 200 aircraft. (UPI)
  • Finland: Interior Minister Petteri Orpo said he believed a solution can be found to tackle the influx of asylum seekers crossing from Russia to Finland. (Xinhua)
  • United Kingdom: The country must renew its submarine-borne Trident nuclear weapons system if it is to maintain its “outsized” role in world affairs, US Defense Secretary Ash Carter said in recently published comments. (Reuters)

MIDDLE EAST

  • Region: Turkey and Saudi Arabia could launch a ground operation against Islamic State (IS) jihadists in Syria, while Riyadh is also sending war planes to a Turkish base to fight the extremists, according to the Turkish foreign minister. (AFP)
  • Egypt: The Islamic militant group Hamas that rules Gaza says Egypt has opened its border with the territory for the first time this year. (AP)
  • Israel: With a four-day lockdown and economic sanctions, authorities cracked down hard on the West Bank village of Qabatiya after three of its sons killed a policewoman in a Jerusalem attack. (AFP)
  • Syria: Major powers agreed to a pause in combat in Syria, but Russia pressed on with bombing in support of its ally President Bashar al-Assad, who vowed to fight until he regained full control of the country. (Reuters)

TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS

  • Social Media: A Chinese envoy to the United Nations called for more attention to terrorist groups using the internet or social media to engage in terrorist activities. (Xinhua)

WORLD

  • Cyclone: Winston
    • 513 miles SW of Suva
    • Winds: 121 mph
    • Movement: S at 16 mph
    • Map
  • Cyclone: Tatiana
    • 353 miles W of Noumea, New Caledonia
    • Winds: 58 mph
    • Movement: S at 9 mph
    • Map
  • Earthquakes: Nothing to report
  • Volcanoes: Nothing to report
  • Global Disease Outbreaks:
    • Ebola Virus Disease (EVD)
      • Cases as of 13FEB: 28,639 (Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Spain, United Kingdom, United States, Italy)
      • Deaths as of 13FEB: 11,316 (Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, United States)
      • Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2, BBC
    • Chikungunya Virus Disease (CHIK)
      • Suspected Cases as of 13FEB: 6,244 (Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, Brazil, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Colombia, Costa Rica, Curacao, Dominica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, French Guiana, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Martinique, Mexico, Montserrat, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Puerto Rico, Saint Barthelemy, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Martin, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Sint Maarten, Spain, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos Islands, United States, US Virgin Islands, and Venezuela.)
      • Confirmed Cases: 175
      • Deaths as of 13FEB: 0 (Colombia, Puerto Rico, Martinique, Grenada, French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Jamaica, Dominican Republic)
      • Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2, CDC, CDC-2
    • Novel Coronavirus (MERS-CoV, SARS-related)
      • Cases as of 13FEB: 1638 (Saudi Arabia (KSA), Jordan, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the United Kingdom (UK), France, Tunisia, Italy, Oman, Kuwait, Yemen, Malaysia, Greece, Egypt, Lebanon, the Netherlands, Iran, Algeria, Austria, Turkey, The Philippines, Germany, China, South Korea, and the US)
      • Deaths as of 13FEB: 587 (Saudi Arabia, France, Qatar, United Kingdom, UAE, Oman, South Korea)
      • Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2
    • Zika Virus
      • Reported autochthonous Transmission as of 13FEB: Brazil, Colombia, Suriname, El Salvador, Paraguay, Mexico, Venezuela, Panama, Cape Verde, Honduras, French Guiana, Martinique, Puerto Rico, Guyana, Barbados, Ecuador, Bolivia, Haiti, Saint Martin, Guadeloupe, Dominican Republic, United States Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Nicaragua, Jamaica, Guatemala, Curacao, Costa Rica, Maldives
      • Indication of Viral Circulation as of 13FEB: Fiji, Tonga, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Gabon, Indonesia, Thailand, Cambodia, Philippines, Malaysia
      • Deaths as of 13FEB: 3 (Colombia) (AFP)
      • Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2, CDC, CDC-2

TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK (14FEB)

  •    Global: Valentine’s Day
  •    Bahrain: Anniversary of Bahrain protests beginning – 2011
  •    Iran: Anniversary Iranians defy government ban to join rally in Tehran – 2011
  •    Lebanon: Rafik Hariri Memorial Day – 2005

END

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